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Great Istanbul City Guide

ISTANBUL June 7, 2016
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Do you know Istanbul Turkey? You can learn with this article; Great Istanbul City Guide. Also this city known as Constantinople. There is last name of city. Also it as known Byzantium.  Istanbul is such a great city. And maybe you heard it or not. So, Do you want to know this city. Lets discover it together… Istanbul is one of the most populer cities of Turkey. It’s not big geographically, Even it can be small for some people.. But, it’s big city with its population, employment, nature, ethnic diversity and a lot of things…If you think come to Turkey, You should know, Istanbul is biggest city of this country. The famous metropolis of Turkey lies at the centre of the anicent world admist stunning natural beauty and a plethora of historic monuments.

Actually it is a old city and has so many culturel values and historical ruins. Because, Istanbul has so many things and its geographical location is so important for world. Its geopraphical location is between Asia and Europe. It is located on the two sides of the bosphorus bordering Asian and European continents and has the reputation of being a city with lands on two continents. This for reason, in the past a lot of civilization selected to this city for residential and this is why it has so many culturel values and historical ruins. It has been the capital of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and has been constructed for ages with magnificent religious and civil structures that suit its fame. And there is one thing, you shoul know; This city is the only city in the world that lies on two continents with the narrow Bosphorus strait marking the border between Europe and Asia. You can look at Istanbul map which is under this line for understand to how important geopraphical location of this city. In addition its historical geoplitical importance as an easily defended centre, Istanbul is on of the world’s most beautiful cities with its ideal Istanbul weather, rich vegetation, bounteus seas and unsurpassed coastline linking the Bosphorus, Princes’s Islands, Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Actually, we had to say before this, it is has been selected as a 2010 Europen Cultural Capital.

The Bosphorus and Golden Horn… If there is one thing you must see before you die, it is excatly the Bosphorus of this city. You can sure that. Also you can see the Bosphorus on diffrent point of Istanbul. The Bosphorus, the only outlet from the Black Sea, is like a sea river, with hills and woods rising from the shore it bends and meanders on it way between two sees. In addition to the Golden Horn’s natural deep harbor, there were Roman ports along the city walls lining the Sea of Marmara’s shores.

Ofcourse with time Istanbul Turkey has changed like everything. You know what they say…”One thing never change, it is change.” Nowadays, Istanbul is a real metropol. Istanbul population is nearly 15 million and it’s one of the biggest cities of world with its population.  We are sure, when you come to Istanbul, you’ll better understand how big it is and you won’t have time for see to whole city. And besides to all things, when you see Istanbul Traffic, maybe you’ll surprised. Because ıt’s too complicated sometimes. But, don’t worry! Public transport of this city rescue your day. Because, you can reach easily every point of this city. in addition The Maramara and Bosphorus train tunnel now under construction will be ready in 2003 to use and the projected third bridge will ease the increasing Istanbul traffic congestion as the city expands east and west from the Bosphorus. New metro system development is largely copleted and new tunnells on Europen side is serving for car traffic. This waterway between two sides of Istanbul sees heavy trafific is a crucial artery for the city’s ships and piers.  Throughout the ages Istanbul has had strategic importance thank to its marriage of sea and land access, and it devoloped into the important shippiğnd and trade centre.

For the many ships now ships now cruising the Mediterranean and Black Seas, Istanbul is important stop, with its many significant historical sites and its port conveniently located in the center city. Many of sites can be seen from aboard ship and most of the others are very close the dock.

Istanbul was built on the seven hills of a peninsula surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, the Boshhorus and the Golden Horn. By the way, As the only city to have been capital of three empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman – Istanbul was ruled for some 1600 years by more than 120 emporers and sultans who left a heritage of monumental works. The Galata district is across the Golden Horn from the historic peninsula; Usküdar and Kadiköy are on the other side of the Boshphorus. As one travels north along the Bosphorus, one sees the rapid expansion of new construction inward from both sides of the strait.

Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city and the centre of commorce, import export, industry, entertainment and education. The city enjoys a year-round mild Istanbul wheather. Because of its proximity to several bodies of water, Istanbul offers an unrivaled range of choices for swimming.  Istanbul of fers the visitor a memorable experience with its full range of Istanbul hotels, tasty Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine, numerous museums, imperial monuments, natural beuty, entertainment and shopping centers. You think, it is done?.. No, we have already told you, This city is so big! Lets take a tour for this city.

Tours of Istanbul

Historic city is insepareble from the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, by the shores of which it was first founded. There are not many place in the world where wonders of nature and masterpieces of man mix so gracefully, and where the testimony of the is seen is vividly as in Istanbul. Visitors who tour this  magnificent city bring home unforgatable memories. The daily tours offered by local travel agencies usually enable the short-term visitor to see city’s principal spots of interest such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Blue Mosque, the Hipodrome, the Topkapı Palace and the Covered Bazaar and its surroundings. By the way, you should know this; this is classic tour of Istanbul. There are many others tours of Roman, Byzantine and Turkish sites in the city, as well as along the Asian and Europen shores of the Bosphorus. Ofcourse if you want, you don’t have to take a tour. Sometimes, discover to something, some city it is better than take tour. Ofcourse, the point is your opinion is the important thing. Also you can buy half and full day tours. depart from hotels or the port and give the visitor general overview of Istanbul.

However, there is one thing, it is important. You shoul know, more time is necassary to see everything Istanbul has the offer. The visitor can than explore the Roman city walls; the renowned Kariye Museum, with its late Byzantine frescoes and mosaics; the Dolmabahçe Palace on the Bosphorus, regarded as the richeast palace in the world; The Spice Market; Galata Tower, the Archaeological Museum and the Turkish Islamic Arts Museum. And Istanbul evening tour with belly- dancing and folk shows is straight out of the Thousand and One Nights.

A visit to Istanbul may provide some travellers with the opportunity to set foot in Asia for the firts time on a tour either by boat or across the Bosphorus Bridge joining the two continents. Visitors can view the magnificent panaroma of Istanbul while crossing the bridge or from the top of Çamlıca Hill.

Istanbul Weather

Istanbul Turkey weather… So, lets think! You want to go somewhere, what do you look at first? Or What do you searc first? Ofcourse, firstly you wonder country map, city map, metro map or how is the weather of this city? For example, You want to come to Istanbul. What Do you know about this city firstly? Istanbul Turkey map, Istanbul metro map, where can I eat or how is the weather os this city we’ll try explain to Istanbul weather part of this article. But,  we will tell to you generally because it can be too long If we can try to explain detaily. Don’t wory, The other articles in this web site that all about Istanbul weather, we will explain detaily. Easily you can find them.

Actually Istanbul has three kind of weather system. I mean climate. And in today all of them is some kind of mixed together. For example, in some part of this you can see Mediterranean climate, but in other part of city you can see the oceanic climate. One of the climates is Mediterranean climate, other one is Humid Subtropical climate and the last one is oceanic climate. Ofcourse it depends on time.. It is diffrent in august and ofcourse totally diffrent february.  Istanbul weather in august, İt is so hot and weather of this city in february, it is too cold.

This city can’t be calssifield as one climate. And Seas of this city influence on climate of city. I mean, some part of city whic is near the sea -this sea can be Sea of Marmara or Black Sea- has oceanic climate and on this part of city weather is not so hot but also it is not too cold which is explain to oceanic climate generally. but the part of city that you can see mediterranean climate is too hot in summer or spring and also this part of city mild in winter or fall. The northern half of the city, as well as the Bosporus coastline, express characteristics of oceanic and humid subtropical climates, because of humidity from the Black Sea and the relatively high concentration of vegetation. Istanbul weather averages is 15-20 centigrades. So, we could try to explain the weather city generally. For detaily information, You can searc on our web site or juct clik here.

Istanbul Map

You came to Istanbul or you’re think about come to Istanbul. What Do you need? Ofcourse a good map of city. Here is… You can see Istanbul maps for metro, bus, Europe side, Asian side, airport and more…

Istanbul attractions map

Istanbul attractions map

Istanbul Metro Map

Istanbul Metro Map

Istanbul Airport M

Istanbul airport Map

For more Istanbul Maps click here

Istanbul Cafe, Restautrants and Hotels

Lets think, When you come to Istanbul, what will you want?  Ofcourse you want eat something or you want stay in good Istanbul hotel and another necessary thing. So, you need know to Istanbul Hotels, Istanbul cafe, restaurant. Dont worry, we’ll share with you good places for eating and drink. So, you did come maybe you want to Istanbul grill and maybe you are wondering How is the Istanbul Sofra? What can you eat in an Istanbul Sofra.

Actually, You can eat whatever you want in an Istanbul sofra 🙂 There is no border for this. Turkish kabab, iskender, yogurt, baklava, pide (Buraya ünlü Türk yemeklerinin ismi gelicek, araştırmak lazım ingilizce isimlerini)  Istanbul is realy good for stay, live, eat and drink. Because you can easily findwhatever you want. Especially meat food are very good in Istanbul. Ofcourse it depands on where you eat. Don’t worry we’ll recomanded good places for you.

Istanbul Cafe

1.Ara Cafe

Phone
Address: İstiklal Caddesi Tosbağa Sokak 2/A, Beyoğlu
İstanbul
Work hours Friday ve Saturday 10.00-01.00, other days 07.30-00.00 .

  2.  Cuma Cafe

Phone
 +90 (212) 293 20 62
Address: Firuzağa Mahallesi, Çukurcuma Caddesi 53/A
İstanbul
Work hours: Tuesday- Saturday 09.00-24.00, Sunday 09.00-20.00

 

Istanbul Restaurants

  1. Kız Kulesi Restaurant (Maiden Tower)
Phone
0216 3424747
Address: Kız Kulesi, Salacak Mahallesi, Üsküdar, İstanbul
Work hours: 09:00 – 18:45, 20:15 – 00:30
       2. Leb-i Derya Restaurant
Phone
+90 0212 2934989
Address: Tomtom Mahallesi, Kumbaracı Yokuşu, No 57/6, Beyoğlu, İstanbul
Work hours: 16:00 – 03:00

Istanbul Hotels

 1.Divan Istanbul

Phone
+90 (0212) 315 5500
Address: Asker Ocağı Caddesi 34367 No:1 Şişli – İstanbul
Work hours: Every day

    2. The Marmara Taksim

Phone
+90 (0212) 315 5500
Address: Taksim Meydanı, Taksim – İstanbul
Work hours: Every day

 

 

Istanbul Songs

You know, Istanbul is very famous city in the world and this is why there are so many songs about Istanbul. When we looking for the city thing on internet, we noticed; people are wondering the Istanbul songs. I said to myself why I’m not making a song list for people. Than we started to searching for you. If you want you can listen beautiful songs of Istanbul here.

Istanbul Songs List. It has 24 songs about Istanbul.

Istanbul Airport

So lets think, you read this article maybe another one about Istanbul and you’re think about come to this city. How will you come? Are wondering to is there an airport in Istanbul. 🙂 We know, ofcourse you’re not wondering this one, because you have already known there is two of them.

There are two airports in Istanbul. In addition to Atatürk International Airport, a key air link between the Far East and the Western world, the city now has a second airport, Sabiha Gökçen, on the Asian side of the city; severaş many Istanbul hotels are now available in the area near both airports.

One of them is Ataturk Airport. This airport is located on the Europen side of Istanbul in Yeşilköy. The distance to city center Sirkeci is 28 km and the distance to sea is about 4-4.5 km. Subway is avaible from airport to Aksaray.

The other one is Sabiha Gökçen airport. This airport is on the Anotolian side in Pendik/Kurtköy district. It is 40 km to Kadıköy, 12 km to Pendik and 50 km to Taksim. The road maintaining connection with TEM highway makes transport easy. The Pendik sea buses port is 14 km away.

İstanbul Airport Codes

I’m sure, you’ll need to airport codes, when you come to Istanbul. Don’t wory, we found for you for each airport.

İstanbul Atatürk Airport Code

IATA CodeIST

ICAO CodeLTBA

FAA Code

Phone+90 212 465 55 55

Fax+90 212 465 50 50

Latitude40.9768982

Longitude28.8146

Time ZoneEurope/Istanbul (GMT +3:00)

WAC679

Emailinfo@tav.aero

Twitter@istanbulairport

Facebook

Runway 18530 ft

Runway 29843 ft

 

İstanbul Sabiha Gokçen Airport Code

IATA CodeSAW

ICAO CodeLTFJ

FAA Code

Phone+90 216 585 50 00

Fax+90 216 585 51 14

Latitude40.8986015

Longitude29.3092003

Time ZoneEurope/Istanbul (GMT +3:00)

WAC679

Emailheas@sgairport.com

Twitter

Facebook

Runway 19843 ft

 

İstanbul Airport Map 

And again I’m sure, you’ll need to Istanbul airport map, when you come to Istanbul. Don’t worry again. We found for you for each airport.

İstanbul Atatürk Airport Map

Istanbul Atatürk airport map

Istanbul Atatürk airport map

İstanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport Map

Istanbul sabiha gokcen airport map

Istanbul sabiha gokcen airport map

And I think now , you’re wondering which Istanbul airlines I can use? that is a right question. We are sure, you shoul use Turkish Airlines. Because it is very famous brand of Turkey in the world. Best quality of Europe. you can sure that. If you want, you can search it just click here. 

Istanbul Bus Terminals 

Esenler Bus Terminal, located on the Europen side, Esenler is one of the largest bus terminal in Turkey. İt is possible here to find buses to/from every city in Turkey. Transport: the subway maintains connection with Aksaray or Atatürk airport. There are public transpotation buses to Taksim, Beşiktaş, Mecidiyeköy, Eminönü, Bakırköy and Avcılar, but these are rather rare. There are also blue buses which go to Bostancı, Sarıyer or Arnavutköy.

The Harem Bus Terminal, is the main inter-city bus terminal on the Asian side. Most buses comig from or going to the Esenler BusTerminal stop over the Harem Terminal. Public buses are available to place like Kadıköy and Pendik. You can pass to Sirkeci or Kabataş on the Europen side by ship from the Üsküdar port. If you are traveling via the Harem terminal, taking a taxi is a sensible option.

Istanbul Attraction

And finally, You’re in Istanbul. What will you do? I’m sure you’re wondering to Istanbul attractions. Don’t worry, we are recommending for you Istanbul attractions.

Hippodrome, (horse racetrack) was buit in the second century during the reign of the Roman emperor Septimus Severus and was expanded to colossal dimensions under Constantine the Great. Most historians record the seating capacity of this huge arena as 30.000, but some estimates go as high as 60.000. The Hippodrome, during the Roman and Byzantine empires was the city’s centre for entertainment, amusement and sports. Two- or four- horse chariot races higlighted each day’s progamme, whic also featured performances by groups of musicians, dancers, acrobats and animal trainers.

Blue Mosque (Sultanahmed ) , one of the most revered master pieces not only of Turkey but of entire Islamic world., insipires deep admiration in all those who visit it. This mosque with six minarets, built between 1609 and 1616, is a striking example of the classic Turkish mosque and surrounded by many monuments dating to earlier phases of the history of Istanbul. The fine silhoutte is a prominnet part of Istanbu’s beautiful skyline as seen from the sea.

Hagia Sophia, considered by many authors and hstorians to be the eight wonder of the world., is a masterpiece of architecture and one of the few structures of such huge dimensions to have survived for so long. Its architectural mastery was far ehead of its time and unmatched for 100 years.

The Basilica (Yerebatan) Cistern, The enterence to Istanbul’s largest and most interesting covered cistern is through is a small building to the west of Hagia Sophia Square. The cross- vaulated ceiling of this forest of colums is made of brick. A street runs above a section of the cistern. Because a basilica once stood above the cistern, it is known as the basilica cistern. It was built in the 6th century, in the reign of Justinian, to supply water to palace complex nearby.

Bayezid Square, It was built in 393, during the reign of Theodoisus I, as the largest square in the city. A giantic victory arch stood in the middle of the square, called Bull’s Square because of the large bronze statue of the emperor on the arch. Today, a few marble blocks remain of the arch itself, but nathing remains of the monumental fountains which were to the north of the square.

Grand Bazaar, this oldest and largest covered market place in the world is in the centre of the city Resembling a giant labyrinth, it consists of approximately sixty lanes and more than three thousand shops. This unique and interesting market place is a must see for visitors.

Golden Horn, the natural harbour of the Golden Horn, a narrow inlet dividing the Europen side in to two played an important role in the development of the city of Istanbul. Opposite the old city is the Galata disrict. The Golden horn is approximetly 8 km. long and its enterence from the Bosphorus is quide wide.

Galata Tower,  The Genoese, who had gradually anlarged the boundries of the Galata district, took over the Galata Tower area only in 1349. It was at this time that they built the tower here. The Byzantine resouces refer to this tower as the “Great Tower (Megolos Purgos)”, while the Geneose sources refer to it as the tower of christ. It was consructed during a turbelent time in the Byzantine Empire by Genoese men and women of all ages, who worked day and night to complate it.

BosphorusOne of the most beautiful sights in the world, the Bosphorus is a strait that runs a winding course between two continents from one sea the another. İt is a natural border between Europe and Asia and the only outlet of the Black Sea, which is connected to the Aegean through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles.

Eyup Sultan Mosque, The name of the famous compinion of Prophet Muhamed was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. He embareced Islam along with his wife in 621, two years before the Hijra (migration from Mecca to Medina). Abu Ayyub al- Ansari joined the many battles. The last on he participated in was the firs Muslim siege of Constantinople. Abu Ayyub al- Ansari died in 669, while the siege was continuing. After his funeral, he was buried where he had asked. So, this mosque area that where he buried.

Besiktas,  is one of the oldest disricts built outside the city walls of Istanbul. It is on the Europen side of the Bosphorus, liying between Tophane and Ortakoy. To the west Şişli, with Beyoğlu and Sarıyer to the north.

Topkapi Palace, the oldest and largest place in the world today is Topkapi Palace, a museum since 1924. The palace is on the site of the acropolis of Byzantium, over looking the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. The palace complex covers an area of 700.000 sq.m. and is surrounded by five kilometres of walls. Tapkapi Palace was the second palace built by Turks in Istnabul.

Galata, Sultan Mehmed II assigned a subaşı (or voyvoda) and a judge the to Galata after the surrender of the city and placed it directly under Ottoman administration. The Sultan demolished parts of the city walls in order the protect the city, afraid that the Christian majority could surrender the tower to Crusaders arriving from teh Sea.

Kadikoy, Around 1000 BC, a village  was established by the Phoenicians in this area; this later was to became a Greek colony. The residental areas of this town extended to Moda. At this time, the name of the city was changed from Charcedeon to Chalcedeon.

Ciragan Palace, The area where Ciragan Palace now stands was known as Kazancioğlu Gardens in 17th century. In the second half of the 16th century, commander of the navy Kilic ALi Pasha has a waterfront residence here, and in 1648 Sultan Murad IV gave the imperial garden to his daughter Kaya Sultan and her husband Grand Vizier Melek Ahmed Pasha.

Dolmabahçe Palace, The location of Dolmabahçe Palace is believed to be the spot where the Argounat anchored while Jason was on his quest for the Golden Fleece. This is also the spot where Sultan Mehmet II is believed to have brought his fleet to land during the conquest of Constantinople; from here he was able to reach the Golden Horn.

Süleymaniye Mosque, The Most striking of the all domes and minarets that define the skyline of Istanbul are those of the Suleymaniye Mosque, the largest and most majestic in the city. It fascinate every visitor with the aestich harmony of its interior and exterior, and its pleasing proportions. By any standard, the Suleymaniye mosque is an architectural masterpiece. Restoration of the Mosque completed in 2011.

 

Istanbul History

Istanbul history

Istanbul history

 

Before the everything, you should know Istanbul has so a deep history. And this part of article can be long a little bite. Do you ready to learn an amazing history of this city? Let’s start…

No country surpasses Turkey as a land of bountiful historic treasures and uniqe wondera of nature. Pasitioned as a bridge between two continents, Anotolia or Asia Minor, which consititues the larger part of the country, has been regularly inhabited by man since prehistoric times and witnesses the flourishing of many of the ancient civilisations known today. Thousands of archaeological sites have been discovered in Turkey, some dating to cave age (1,300,000 to 12,000 B.C ). By 2000 an earliest temple complex dating to 10,000 B.C. was discovered. Excavations in Anatolia have unearthed very rich Neolithic villages cities from the 9 th to 6th millenia B.C. These new discoveries in Turkey Have opened new chapters in the history of minkind.

Two ancient settlements on Turkey’s straits mark the western frontiers of Anatolia: the anicient city of Troy near the Dardanellas (Hellespont) is today only a famous archeological site, whereas the city of Istanbul on both sides of the Bosphorus is still alive, more dynamic than ever.

The highlight of the history of the smaller, Europen partof Turkey is the history of Istanbul itself.  There are many legends about the foundation of the city, but the most famous of these goes as fallows: In about 650 B.C. a tribe of seafarers decided to leave their home – a city called Magara- under the guidance of their leader Byzas, to search for new homeland. As was costumary, they consulted a soothsayer before taking action. The oracle said that they should settle at a place “Facing the land of bilind.” Byzas and his people set sail and after a long and exhausting search in many seas, came to the peninsula of Istanbul. They immediately admired the beuty and bounty liying before them and recognized the possibilites offered vy the gulf now called the Golden Horn.

They also spotted a colony of people living across the strait, and Byzais declared, “If people who have come this close to a piece of land so suitable for setlement fail to see its virtues, they must be blind,”  and hence they built on the peninsula the foundations of the city we now call Istanbul.

Beyond this legendary founding, however, excavations at the top of the Golden Horn and on the Asian Side have uncovered traces of settlements dating to about the 6th and 8th millenium B.C. During excavations for the down town station of the metro line, archeologists found another settelement from 6,400 B.C in 2004.

History of Istanbul Roman Period 

For several centruies after its establishment, Istanbul existed as a seaport and trade centre, sovereign in certain periods and under the control of powers dominating the region at the other times. In the Roman Period, the city’s acropolis was at the site where the Topkapı Palace stands today, and a busy port was stuated at the well-protected entrance of the Golden Horn.

The strong city walls started at the port and, running along the outskirts of the settlement, reached the Sea of Marmara. In the year 191 A.D. the city took the wrong side in a dispute over throne of the empire. After a siege that lasted for more than two years, it was conquered and razed by the Roman Emperor Septumus Severus.

The same emperor later rebuilt the city, adding new city walls and many new buildings. In the 4th ceuntry,  the Pax Romana had expanded over such a wide area that the capital city, Rome , was no longer centrally lacated.

Emperor Canstantine the Great, aware of the difficulty in ruling a vast land from Rome, recongnized the advantage of Istanbul’s location at the crossroads of the mojor land and sea routes and its mild climate, and declared the city his new capital.

This triggered rapid development in the city.  A new line of city. A new line of city walls was built in about six years so that the city could expand easily, and a number of temples, palaces, official buldings, baths and a hipodrome were constructed. In 330 A.D with great fanfare, the city was officially procalimed the capital of the Roman Empire. During the golden age that followedi the city was first called Deutera Roma (the Second Rome) or Nea Roma (the New Rome), but these names were soon replaced by “Byzantium,” whic was used for many centruies until “Constantinopolis” (or “Polis” for short among the people) became popular.

The emperors succeeding Constantine continued to beutify and improve the city with new buildings, avenues, aqueducts and monuments. The first churches in the city were also constructed during this period.

Byzantine Period 

In the year 395, the great Roman Empire was divided into two parts. The Western Empire collapsed soon afterwards – in the five century- whereas the Eastern Empire, called the Byzantine Empire  by contemporary historians, continued to exist for more than a thousand years. The Byzantine Empire was influenced by earlier Anatolian civilisations and adopted structures and codes from the East. It had roots on the Roman Empire, but under the influence of Christianity developed into a new civilisation. In the first half of the 5th century , during the reign of Emperor Theodosius II, the boundaries of the city were enlarged again, an the 6492-metre-long city walls, still standing today in all their magnifisience, were built. These walls, constructed as two parallel lines of fortifications with a deep moat on the outside, stopped numareous attacks.

In the 6th century, the city and its population of nearly a million anjoyed onether golden age of prosperity and progress under Emperor Justinian.

The church of Hagia Sophia, the most imposing Byzantine place of worship still standing today, was built his reign. The city was restructured with all major avenues strating at the church and running towards to city walls, branching into two at some of the important squares.

The history of the Byzantine Empire and that of the city of Istanbul after Justinian is filled with palace and church intrigue, Persian and Arab attacks and bloody power struggles that often resulted in changes of dynasties. During the Iconoclastic movement (726-842) the use of icons was denounced.

The Latin invasion of the city that began in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade is a dismal chapter in the history of Istanbul. The strong and battle- ready crusader army had little problem conquering the city and immediatly began robbing it of its treasures. The looting went on for many years and included even such holy places as churches and monasteries. When the invasion ended in 1261, the had been stripped of everything valuable and was never again the prosperous city it had once been, until its siegeand enventual conquest by the Ottamans in 1453.

Ottoman Period 

Superior guns of large caliber were used for the first time in history by Sultan Mehmed II (later to be called Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror) during the siege that lasted for 53 days. The twenty-one year-old conqueror immediately moved the capital of the Ottoman Empire to Istanbul, and after increasing the population by moving and imigrants from other parts of the emipre, launched a campaign to repair and restore the city. In the meantime, he granted freedom of the relegion and other rights to the non- Moslems of the city. Some of the damaged churches, including Hagia Sophia, were repaired and converted to mosques.

Because of the rights granted to Non-Muslems by Mehmed the Conqueror, the Patriarchate of the Christian Orthodox Church is still in Istanbul and a large non-Moslem population still lives in the city and elsewhere  in the country.

After the Turkish takeover of Istanbul, the once again became major worl centre, and 100 years after the conquest, the unmistakable lines of Turkish art, eith the elegant silhouettes of minarets and domes, dominated the skyline. The Ottoman Empire, which developed from a small Turskih tribe into a powerful empire with internatinol hegemony over parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, kept Istanbul as its capital through the remainder of its existence. Furthermore, after the Ottoman Sultans assumed the title and powers of the Caliph (Successor to the Prophet Muhammed) the city of Istanbul was also regarded as the capital of the Islamic World. The sultans succeeding Mehmed teh Conqueror continued efforts to improve Istanbuli and in the colorful pages of the city’s history in that period, there is no record of any wars in or near the city. However, frequent great fires destroyed large sections of the city.

The İmperial palace was on site of the aicent acropolis withy an increadibly beautiful view of the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus. The palace, known by the name Topkapı, served for about 400 years as the resicentury, palaces and mansions in the Europen architectural style were built along the Bosphorus. These quicly constructed palaces are regarded by many of symbols of the decline of the Ottoman Empire.

Tuskish Republic Period 

The decline of the Empire proved irreversible, and in the years following the end of the world war I, the historic city that once was Byzantium witnessed the and of the another great empire. However, the end of the Ottoman Empire did not mean the end of Turkish people’s determination to live as an indepented nation on the land they had called their home for more than nine centuries. While the victors of the World War I were engaged in a heated debate over how Turkish land would be divided among themi a noble commander of the Ottoman Army, Mustafa Kemal, left Istanbul for Anatolia (partly occupied already) with the purpose of kindling the fire of indipendenceç The fire he started spread rapidly across the whole country, and after a four year struggle with few resources except willpower and determination, cannons were fired in Istanbul and throughout the country on Octaber 29, 1923, to celebrate the foundation of the Republic of the Turkey.

The first presedent of this very firs republic in Asia, later given the surname Atatürk (the Father of the Turks), led the country on the parth towards Western civilisation. This new phase in the history of Turkey included, among other things, the exile of the last Sultan and the imperial family, the adoption of a Latin alphabet, the abolishment of the Caliphate and the prohibition of  Eastern garments such as the fez and vail. By the time Ataturk died in 1938, Turkey was recognized as a member of the Weatern World. Although the capital of the new republic was Ankara, Istanbul remained the largest and most important city of modern Turkey and maintained its enchanting look and its lively way of life. Turkey is a NATO member and a parliamentary democracy. Anatolia, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, because of their strategic locations, are amon the Western world’s most important points of defence. Many varieties of grain, fruit and vegetables are grown in modern Turkey, where giant dams generete electricity and large irrigation systems water of fertile plains. The most developed industry in the country is the textile sector (coton, silk and wool), followed by the touris industry. A large variety of cereals, as well as automotive and other industrial products, are exported from the country’s modern ports. Turkey, in the new milleniu, became a candidate for EU membership, once again placing the country as a bridge between the Western and Islamic worlds. This is now one of the country’s highest priorities.

İstanbul Orientation 

The historic city of Istanbul was orriginally founded on the seven hills of a peninsula. The palace was ideal for many reasons. It was centrally located on Eastwest trade routes and easily defensible with one landward side. It dominated the well-protected, 7km-long natural harbour of the Golden Horn, which was surrounded by fertile fields and abundant game, and the Istanbul weather was mild year round. Hence, the city gradually grew and, begining in the 4th century A.D., was regarded as the centre of the world. Throughout this history, the old city continued to grow westward on the peninsula, and the city walls were rebuilt four times. The last line, which can still be seen today, was built in the 5th century A.D. and with stood the assaults of many-be conquerors before giving in the Ottoman army of Sultan Mehmed II in 1453.

Under the Ottoman rule, the city began to change. With no threat of any enemy reaching the capital of the powerfull empire, new settlements on the Asian as well as the European coasts of the Bosphorus developed, and, on the hills across the Golden Horn, a Genoese colony emerged at a spot called Galata. The skyline of the city changed significantly Immediately after the conquest of the city, the fine minarets of imperial mosques, regarded as the crown of Istanbul, began to rise.

Today, Istanbul is the largest city of modern Turkey, and with its more than 12 million inhabitants, one of the most crowded Europen cities. Although the old city has expanded beyond the city walls since the and of the 19th century, the location of most of the main roads and squares has not changed since the 5th 6th centuries. Most of the important buildings- palaces, places of worship, monuments of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire periods and even some from the Roman period -still remain. Most of the narrow streets and characteristic apartment houses of Galata and Beyoglu, where the city’s non- Muslim population used to dwell, still look the same as they did at the turn of the 20th century. The area that housed the former European embassies is now a lively quarter with modern hotels, shopping, restaurants and cafes. To ease the city’s traffic congestion, construction is under way (and partially completed) for a metro system, and underground tunnels for vehicles.

The hills on both sides of the Bosphorus are covered with woods. The shores are adorned with magnificent palaces, mosques, summer residences of Ottoman-era embassies and the two fortresses. Today, contemporary buildings blend into the predominately historic view, and along the both sides of the Bosphorus restaurants and taverns serve fresh seafood and “mezes” (Turkis hors d’oeuvres) amidst the beautiful scenery.

The Bosphorus currents, which were a great challenge to the sailboats and raw-boats of earlier times, today carry the heavy traffic between Black Sea ports and the rest of the world. Traditional ferries, high- speed catamarans, water taxis and private boats offer regular service to several locations in Istanbul and to the Prince’s Islands. On hills of Çamlıca, offering the best panaromic view of Istanbul. Also in the vicinity is the Karacaahmet Cemetery and, near Kadikoy, the historic Haydarpaşa railway station.

The Princes’ Islands, an archipelgo of nine islands and islets in the Sea of Marmara, are a jewel in Istanbul’s crown. There are many summerhouses and seaside mansions on the four larger islands. No motor vehicles are allowed; the only means of transportation is the horse-drawn phaeton.

The Sea of Marmara, known as the “smallest sea in the world,” connects to the Black Sea through the Bosphorus and to Aegean through the Dardanelles. It is expectionally rich in fish and sea flora.

 

 

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